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Blues and barbecue go hand-in-hand

Event pleases the palate at Tallgrass Creek

Created date

August 20th, 2013
Barbecue ribs

Soulful tunes and slow-cooked Kansas City barbecue were all the rage Saturday, July 20, at Tallgrass Creek's Blues and BBQ gathering sponsored by the community's sales team. More than 200 prospective residents enjoyed the melodious and mouthwatering get-together alongside Tallgrass Creek resident hosts and staff members who wore playful, vividly colored hats crafted by the sales team. This was a great way to celebrate a meaningful part of this area s heritage great blues music and delicious barbecue, says Deborah Messmer, director of sales. We have all kinds of gatherings at Tallgrass, and this event was another way to let people know how diverse our community is. Guests strolled into the community s spacious, manicured courtyard, where they were greeted by mounds of smoky beef brisket, meaty ribs and pork, cheesy potatoes, savory baked beans, and fresh coleslaw, topped off by chock-full-of-apples pie and vanilla ice cream. Danny Squires, a longtime competitor in Kansas City s nationally renowned, annual barbecue competitions, gently smoked all the meat and fixings on site.

Keeping it cool

Giant fans kept the Kansas heat at bay as well-known Kansas City blues artist Millage Gilbert and his Big Blues Band filled the air with familiar melodies such as Goin to Kansas City, Every Day I Have the Blues, Blueberry Hill, and Bring It on Home to Me. Gilbert, who sings, and plays guitar and harmonica, offers up easy-on-the-ears tunes reminiscent of the old Mississippi blues style still popular in Kansas City today. About 25 resident hosts welcomed guests and offered to conduct tours of Tallgrass Creek s spacious model apartments. Joyce Keeler, who moved to Tallgrass Creek nine months ago, and Norm Dalton, a two-year resident, were among those greeting guests. I am delighted to tell others about Tallgrass, says Joyce, a retired licensed practical nurse who, these days, loves to travel. It is turnkey living at its best. I was so tired of dealing with issues associated with a larger house, and everything here is just so easy and well done. I love it.

Boning up on ' Kansas City blues and barbecue

According to barbecue aficionados, the father of local barbecue is Henry Perry, who, in 1908, began serving from an alley stand slow-cooked smoked ribs drenched in a tomato-molasses sauce to garment workers in downtown Kansas City. He later moved to an old trolley barn in the famed inner city 18th Street and Vine neighborhood, where customers paid 25 cents for mounds of hot, tender meat wrapped in newsprint. A century and then some later, there are more than 100 barbecue restaurants located in the Kansas City metro area, some a stone s throw from Tallgrass Creek. That same legendary inner city neighborhood was the home of Kansas City blues in the 1940s, where, after playing at wedding and jazz clubs, artists such as Big Joe Turner, blues queen Cotton Candy, and harmonica player Little Hatch would head downtown to 18th and Vine where they joined fellow musicians for late-night jam sessions. Blues and jazz artists continue the jam sessions today at various clubs, some located in the still-popular 18th and Vine Street neighborhood.